Yggdrasil was a small format heathen newsletter which was, for a while, my primary contact with the heathen community. Recently I re-read a few old issues from the 90s. I was struck by the mix of academic explorations of lore with fun and games like the rune puzzles, and announcements about future events. Obviously I remember that-- I even wrote some of those rune puzzles-- but from my perspective here 30 years later and deeply enmeshed in the internet it seems strange to think about the days when I would yearn for communication with other heathens and it came in the form of the letters section in the larger magazines, which each came once a quarter. I would yearn for more knowledge and it came in the mail, on random topics chosen by the magazine editors. Looking at the contents of a few copies of Yggdrasil now, it reminds me strongly of the contents of the forum I manage, the Asatru Facebook Forum, except that people in forums can just post things and don't have to go through an editor's selection process, and everything is nearly instantaneous. Someone can post a question on a topic and a dozen people will answer in the space of a few days. Thinking back to how it was before the net, it seems almost miraculous.

The net has replaced a lot of what I used to seek at heathen festivals back in the day, too. It's replaced the seminars and panels and specialty rituals with similar things held online, especially last year as people deliberately tried to hold actual gatherings over the net due to the pandemic. Blogs like this one have replaced some of the in-person classes we used to have at festivals or in bookstores. Forums meet part of the need for social interaction with other heathens that we used to get hanging out by the campfire at festivals. And of course, the festival's dealer's tables have moved to the net too. Yet, we still have festivals-- or at least we did before Covid-- and obviously, we still have magazines. So, the net must not be meeting all of everyone's needs.